Are Working Families Party-aligned Leaders Silencing Dissent Among Parents?

The message from Parent Advisory Council leaders is clear: Get in line or get out.

In a ruthless display of Big Brother-style control, Working Families Party-aligned district leaders have sought to dissuade dissent by any means necessary, up to and including forcibly removing parents from Parent Advisory Council meetings.

Get that? Forcing parents to leave Parent Advisory Council meetings.

During last week’s District Parent Advisory Council meeting at Blackham School,Susan Errichetti, a former member of the council’s executive board, was removed from the meeting by police escort.

Her crime? Speaking up against changes to new council bylaws that would restrict parent involvement.

Several other parents followed suit and left the meeting in a display of solidarity, opting to wait outside while the meeting continued.

Say it with me, children: “Thought police.”

Since the Working Families Party took control, the district’s Parent Advisory Council has been taken over, too, by Working Families Party shills Eric Alicea and Tammy Boyle. The so-called “parliamentarian” of the council who took it upon himself to remove parents — by force — from the meeting is a Boyle appointee.

The new bylaws remove the requirement to follow Robert’s Rules of Order, and add a “code of conduct” which allows for the removal of parents from PAC meetings for “hostility.” These new rules essentially give District PAC leadership carte-blanche to shut out any parents with whom they disagree. [District PAC Bylaws, 2013]

Who runs Bridgeport’s Board of Education and Parent Advisory Council? The Soviet Politburo?

As a particularly stunning, thoughtless, insulting and potentially illegal side note, the new bylaws were never translated to Spanish before they were ratified. That means up to half of Bridgeport’s parents were unable to read them.

Doesn’t Title I require the council to involve parents?

And isn’t that the purpose of a Parent Advisory Council? Doesn’t kicking parents out of meetings for disagreeing with executive board members violate the purpose of having a District PAC in the first place? [Connecticut Department of Education, Parent Involvement Policy under NCLB]

The District PAC’s responsibility is to provide training to parents, organize opportunities for parent involvement, and act as a resource to the community. But it’s pretty clear that what matters to these folks is party discipline.



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